Two ARCS – New Literary Fiction
June 2, 2016
These authors presented at Library Journal’s Day of Dialog, discussing choice upcoming literary fiction. Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am (being published September 6th) evokes profoundly psychological, even biblical, themes of conflicting loyalty and being wholly present to family and others as well as true to oneself. It is thoughtful, wise, and darkly funny in many places. Jay McInerney’s Bright, Precious Days (coming out in August) is a zeitgeist novel that depicts the 80’s, explores several challenged marriages, and gently spoofs the publishing world. I would love to share these ARCs with first Sno-Isle commenters. Sorry for delay but these will be in the catalog shortly.
I’ll have so many to share in coming weeks so please stay tuned if you’re into enjoying and handselling these.
McInerney, Jay. Bright, Precious Days. Knopf, August.
Publisher Summary: Even decades after their arrival, Corrine and Russell Calloway still feel as if they’re living the dream that drew them to New York City in the first place: book parties or art openings one night and high-society events the next; jobs they care about (and in fact love); twin children whose birth was truly miraculous; a loft in TriBeCa and summers in the Hamptons. But all of this comes at a fiendish cost. Russell, an independent publisher, has superb cultural credentials yet minimal cash flow; as he navigates a business that requires, beyond astute literary judgment, constant financial improvisation, he encounters an audacious, potentially game-changing—or ruinous—opportunity. Meanwhile, instead of chasing personal gain in this incredibly wealthy city, Corrine devotes herself to helping feed its hungry poor, and she and her husband soon discover they’re being priced out of the newly fashionable neighborhood they’ve called home for most of their adult lives, with their son and daughter caught in the balance.
Then Corrine’s world is turned upside down when the man with whom she’d had an ill-fated affair in the wake of 9/11 suddenly reappears. As the novel unfolds across a period of stupendous change—including Obama’s historic election and the global economic collapse he inherited—the Calloways will find themselves and their marriage tested more severely than they ever could have imagined.
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Here I Am. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, September.
Publisher Summary: A monumental new novel from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”
How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years–a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.
Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of our most important writers.